Black Classicism - Moving Forward

The lecture series Black Classicism– Moving Forward began in September 2020 and is co-sponsored by the Core Curriculum, the Department of Classical Studies, and the NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor. This lecture series is designed to engage with and critique the ancient world from the perspective of Black authors, artists, and thinkers.

Lectures are open to all faculty and graduate students and draw attendees from throughout New England. About one lecture is held each semester. If you wish to be put on the mailing list or if you have further questions, please contact us at or 617-353-2427.

Presenters for 2021-2022 include:

Mathias Hanses (Penn State University)
Thursday, March 3, 2021, 5:30pm
In Person: George Sherman Union 239 – Terrace Lounge
Virtual: Sign up on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom Link. 

Topic: Cicero with Local Applications: W. E. B. Du Bois’ Views of the Ancient Mediterranean at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.

Professor Hanses researches modern receptions of ancient materials, and especially in Black Classicism. His current book project, under contract with Oxford University Press, focuses on W. E. B. Du Bois’ engagement with the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero. It is tentatively titled Black Cicero: W. E. B. Du Bois, the Ancient Romans, and the Future of Classical Scholarship. 

Email if you have any questions. 

Patrice Rankine (University of Chicago)
Wednesday, December 1, 2021. 5:30pm
Topic: The Classics, Race, and Community-Engaged or Public Scholarship
Register here

Presenters for 2020-2021 include:

Nicole Spigner (Northwestern University)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021. 5:30pm
Topic: “Niobe in Noir”: The Poetry of Phillis Wheatley and H. Cordelia Ray

Emily Greenwood (Yale University)
Monday, October 26, 2021, 5:30pm
Topic: “Black Classical Philology: Writing back to a deadly metaphor in Aristotle’s Politics“.  Based on material from her current book project, Black Classicisms and the Expansion of the Classical Tradition.  

Margaret Malamud (New Mexico State University)
Monday, October 19, 2021, 5:30pm
Topic: “‘Her brown hands bore me alabaster smooth’: Sculpting Cleopatra in Stone and Word.” Based on a poem by Tyehimba Jess about the 19th-century sculptor, Edmonia Lewis and her piece, “The Death of Cleopatra.” 

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